the need for Purgatory if Jesus already paid our sins for us?
Does that not disprove the reality of
This article was published in The
Public Forum of The M+G+R Foundation in August 2007. A question
posed by one of our readers and the response given by Miguel
de Portugal - a question that can be summarized as "Why is Purgatory
still necessary if Jesus already paid the rescue for our sins?
- We are reissuing it now as a stand-alone document for its value in
explaining the theological reason for Purgatory, grounded on the
Holy Scriptures, after our previous document, The Reality of The Purgatory as reflected
in The Old and New Testaments.
FROM OUR FILES: August
From LR @
My girl friend and I have been in recent discussion about purgatory. I
always explain to her that we both agree a soul must be pure before
entering heaven. There are verses that show purgatory is a process and
takes time because "... until Jesus pleads my case," and in the Bible
it explains sins can be forgiven in the next age Matt 12:32. There are
verses that explain purgatory.
My understanding is purgatory is a place that people go to because they
did not fulfill the will of God here on Earth and must do their
penance. As a result purgatory is needed to get rid of all the vices
that hold us from loving God and this process takes time.
My question is that she always states that with the existence of
purgatory it proves that Jesus' sacrifice is not enough. Further, in
the Old Testament it talks about Sheol and in the New Testament Hades.
She states that Jesus is the new covenant and the old covenant is Sheol
(similarity to Purgatory). Thus Jesus did away with Sheol because of
Him being the new covenant. Further, she states that Purgatory seems to
be a HUGE salvation issue and people should know about it, yet it is
not stated as bluntly as other aspects in the Bible, how can I show her
it is well documented (Using the Bible of course, sola scriptura,
though this belief is contradictory in itself when analyzing Scripture)?
I want to be able to answer her questions to the fullest (even though
my responses make sense to me), but how do I keep the discussion simple
while answering these "conundrums" to her? Could you please define
purgatory and penance and answer how purgatory is still necessary even
with faith and Jesus' Death and Resurrection.
Further, how the Old Testament references to Sheol are still relevant
to Christians that believe the Old Testament (Old Covenant) does not
apply to them.
Thank you for your time,
Thank you for the opportunity. Without getting bogged down with words a
la Vatican let us go directly where Jesus illustrates the reality
56 You hypocrites, you know how to
discern the face of the heaven and of the earth: but how is it that you
do not discern this time? 57 And why even of yourselves, do you not
judge that which is just? 58 And when thou goest with thy adversary to
the prince, whilst thou art in the way, endeavour to be delivered from
him: lest perhaps he draw thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee
to the exacter, and the exacter cast thee into prison. 59 I say to
thee, thou shalt not go out thence, until thou pay the very last mite.
One cannot present oneself before God "....until thou pay the very
last mite", which is after the payment has been made through prayer
and penance. (1) Jesus was obviously not
talking about money.
There are two great misconceptions about Divine Law and Justice.
First - Jesus died to give us an opportunity to save our souls.
It is not an automatic process, i.e. "He died for my sins, I
sign up in the local Christian Church and, presto!, I am saved."
Unfortunately far too many Christians believe that it is this way.
Secondly - The forgiveness of sins do not, in any way, mean that we are
"scott free". When a sin is forgiven, the eternal consequences of said
sin are avoided, however, restitution must be made for the damages
done. The restitution is adjusted by what we call "Mercy coupons" or
"Mercy discounts" dispensed by God (2).
Obviously a woman who has had an abortion due to recreational sex is
going to "pay more" (even after the mortal sin is forgiven)
than a woman who fell prey to her boyfriend's empty promises whose
debt, in turn, is higher than the debt of a woman who had an abortion
after being raped.
All transgressed a grave basic Dive Law: Thou shalt not kill.
However the circumstances where totally different and that is why the
Mercy of God is for - to temper the Divine sentence after Divine
Justice is applied.
To further clarify this matter we shall use terms that all can
One gets in debt "over the head" and must default on the payment of the
debt. It may come to a surprise to many but: that is stealing.
Now, that "bad debt" goes to "collection" - instead of slapping the
debtor in jail for theft. Terms for repayment are worked out,
considering all factors, while your credit, in essence, has been
suspended. Once you fulfill your restructured debt you may present
yourself before the "Throne of Creditors" again - you are now "clean"
and have "proven yourself" worthy of "their favor".
Before getting into inter-Faith discussions it is best to have a
working knowledge of the source of the Holy Scriptures (3)
and the awesome coherence that makes them stand "on its own two feet".
We are sure that you can take it from here and clarify any other areas
that you want to share with your girlfriend.
Originally published in The
Public Forum of The M+G+R Foundation on August 11th, 2007
Reissued as a standalone document in
November 4th, 2022
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